European History

SOPHIS welcomes all students interested in the history of Europe. We offer a strong program in modern European history with a particular focus on Britain, France and Germany. At Monash, you can explore such topics as the revolutions that transformed the continent and the world, the rise and fall of Nazi Germany, life behind the Iron Curtain, and changing representations of Europe.

Staff Research Areas

The History Program includes a number of staff working on topics in European History:

David Garrioch European social and urban history
Michael Hau European and German history
Seamus O’Hanlon Nineteenth and twentieth-century Australian and British urban, social and cultural history
Tim Verhoeven Modern French history, Church-State relations, Gender and sexuality
Julie Kalman Modern French history, Minorities in Europe, European Imperialism
Karen Auerbach Social and urban history of Jews in modern and early modern Europe

Undergraduate Units Offered

We offer a range of units in European history. For a full list of units, see the handbook but you might want to consider:

ATS1320 – Nations at War I: From Napoleon to Gallipoli Starting with the French Revolution, the unit explores the importance of war for the formation of national identities from the late eighteenth to the Twentieth century. We will look at the American Civil War, the German and Italian wars of unification, and nineteenth-century Imperialism. Finally, students will learn about the role of warfare in Australian society and the transformation of Gallipoli into a founding myth of Australian nationhood. This chronological framework will be supplemented by the exploration of themes that are central to a critical understanding of history. We will ask how war transformed societies and how industrialisation and science changed the nature of war.
ATS2595/3595 – The rise and fall of Nazi Germany The unit examines the course of German history from 1918 to 1945, focusing on the development, policies, course and implications of National Socialism as movement and regime. It explores the development, nature and decline of the Weimar Republic, the intellectual origins and rise of National Socialism, the development, course and nature of National Socialist domination, National Socialist policies of political killing and genocide, support for and opposition to National Socialism, and the impact and consequences of National Socialism for Germany and the world.

Postgraduate Units offered (Coursework)

APG4296 – Imagining Europe: Representations and images of a continent Imagining Europe surveys the ways that Europe has been thought of from classical times to the present. Through literature, painting, architecture, travellers’ tales, cinema and other sources, it traces the development of the idea of Europe as a region defined both geographically and by its culture, distinct from other ‘non-European’ cultures. The unit will trace the idea of multiple Europes: of a culturally defined ‘Eastern Europe’; of regions within Europe, each with its own special character; and after World War II, the images of Eastern and Western Europe as politically distinct entities. The unit will conclude by looking at the impact of the European Union on images of Europe.

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